barcelona

Barcelona Travel Blog

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chris columbus's statue in barcelona

So thus far snow has been chasing me this entire trip and unfortunately never quite caught up to me!  As soon as I left Madrid it started to snow and I was sad I missed it.  Although while I was in Valencia one night one of the guy's swore he saw some snow, but it was one of those like turn your head to the side, squint, and look into the lights of a car then you'd see a fleck float down type of situations.  I don't know what I actually saw, but he was cute, so I humored him.  So even though I was upset that I missed the snow storm in Madrid, I still decided that it might just be too cold to go out on Ibiza.

  Snow on the mainland is one thing, but freezing weather out on an island is a complete other.  Plus I figured it didn't make much sense to go all the way out there for just a day, so I instead ended up staying extra day in Valencia and then head straight to Barcelona.  I can go to Ibiza when I come back one summer for San Fermin.  Plus with the extra day in Valencia I was able to make it to the futbol game!  And then Anna was going to Barcelona on the same day so we caught a bus out together on Sunday.

Barcelona turned out to be like quite another planet really.  The sun was shining from day one!  The temperature was actually in double digits - 18 degrees!  (This was all in Celsius of course - don't ask me to convert.

at the market. in case you have a sweet tooth...
)  It was completely opposite weather of everywhere else thus far, and completely gorgeous.  And the bus ride there was beautiful as a lot of it was along the water.  I stayed awake for as much of it as I could, but after @ four hours of sleep again the night before my age was starting to show!  And the late nights definitely caught up with me as I caught of a bit of a cold for a couple days that slowed me down while in Barcelona. 

But healthy or not, I realized very early on that Barcelona is a huge city that probably would have been impossible to see in the few days I was there.  I think it's definitely not as walkable as the other cities I've been to - even Madrid.  However Anna and I did manage to fit in quit a bit before she left for her last day in London on her way back down to Australia.

It turns out Barcelona is Gaudi city!  Seriously.  Around every corner is something Antoni Gaudi related.  His masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, is…astonishing?  Magnificent?  Crazy?  All of that rolled into one!  And it’s only a little over ½ way finished!  AND they started constructing it in 1882!!!  That’s just ridonculous.  And while cranes and other construction type stuff ruin most of your photos, you can still see the awesome-ness through them.  The ‘old side’, in my opinion, is far more spectacular to the ‘new side’ but it’s all crazy regardless of which angle you take it in from.  Now I’ll admit I was slightly annoyed at paying 11Euro to get in to only see more construction than finished product on the inside, but I also realized that that may be the most finished I ever get to see it in my lifetime cause who knows if it won’t take another 100 years to finish.

one of the many gaudi buildings
  Plus the museum is really cool and explains Gaudi’s thoughts and ideas behind it - which puts the whole thing together and makes it all... make sense basically!  But wow when that place is finished it’ll just be...jaw droppingly stunningly great!  Gaudi’s other buildings in Barcelona are very cool as well and super easy to spot.  I gotta say that man had quite the imagination, and I quite enjoy it!

In addition to his buildings there is Gaudi’s Park Guell - this really cute park that’s very… Dr. Seuss-ish.  It’s a lot of fun but fair warning to anyone who may read this - it’s quite the hike to get there.  And if you don’t get off at the right metro stop (Lesseps off Line 3) you’ll miss the signs and end up at another random park as many of my roommates did!  It’s definitely worth the trip and the hike though.

the site of the '92 olympics...
  And if you hike to the very top of the mountain there’s a great view of all of Barcelona all the way out to the beaches.  And there are benches and trees up there to sit under and relax/eat lunch and enjoy the view.  I’m pretty sure I had hiked out of Park Guell by this point, but no matter!

Gaudi’s house is also in this park and has now been turned into a museum.  It really is a great little park.  Apparently it was supposed to be more of a ‘living community’ with shops and homes etc... but unfortunately it was never finished.

Also took some time to check out the Mercat de la Boquiera - which Anna and I decided is way cooler than the Mercado Central in Valencia.  While the one in Valencia is much bigger, this one was just moreâ�¦ I don’t know - market like?  If that makes senseâ�¦  It was brighter, certainly smelled better, the displayed were cooler - I didn’t want to touch anything for fear of the whole tower or oranges falling down!  It was cleaner, the people were out in front of their stalls chatting with youâ�¦  I think it just fulfilled the picture of markets in my head.

  I still can’t cook well enough to use most of the things in there that I saw, but this market made me feel like I could! 

The selling continues out on to Las Ramblas - the main street that the market is located off of.  It’s a huge street with a pedestrian center down the middle that runs from deep into the city way out to the beach.  While walking down Las Ramblas I realized I could find pretty much anything for sale - flowers, souvenirs, live chickens (yes LIVE chickens), turtles, rabbits - or any of the previous creatures as a souvenir if one pleases!

Anna and I also put some time in at Barcelona’s cathedral, the beaches, Port Vell, and Vila Olimpica (the site of the 1992 Olympic Village) w/Port Olimpic.  I also took a day and went up to Montjuic - the central park of Barcelona - and saw the actual ‘92 Olympic Stadiums.

gaudi's parc guell
  That was really coolâ�¦

There was still a ton I didn’t see - Barcelona’s huge!  And I didn’t get to take photos of all the Gaudi buildings because the first time I saw them I was just passing by and figured I’d come back later and spend some more time there and then never got to!  But I got to see them, and they were magnificent.  Barcelona’s just so bigâ�¦ and I’ve come to realize that you’ll never see everything.  So I just enjoy it while I can and from there plan future trips to come back!  It’s definitely a metro pass buying type of place - which I actually ended up getting lost on a couple times.  Once beause I was looking at cute boys and got on the wrong train.

at the pier!
  Oops!  :0)

Being sick kept me indoors more than I would’ve liked, but ah well.  And as it turns out Barcelona isn’t exactly the safest place.  I mean every city has its crime, but I just heard so many stories about Barcelona before I got there, and while I was there.  And I also could feel it!  Even during the daytime I felt constantly aware and weary of those around me, could feel eyes on me, and justâ�¦ not really safe.  I haven’t felt like in any other city thus far - night or day - even after being mugged in Paris years ago.  And I think I rightfully felt that way as Anna ended up getting accosted by a man out on the street one night!  And there were people around who did nothing!  She was very calm about the whole thing, much more than I would have been because this is where I would’ve gotten in trouble because the pocket knife would’ve come out and somebody would have been bleeding!  And it wouldn’t have been me!  I really don’t wanna go to jail in a foreign country, even if in self defense, so between all that and being sick I just elected to stay in at nights there.

on site of the '92 olympic games...
  Especially when the owner of the hostel, a native guy from Barcelona, kept telling us it wasn’t safeâ�¦  Plus there were quite a few stories from folks at our hostel of either being pick pocketed themselves while in Barcelona, or of knowing someone who had been or had gotten things stolenâ�¦ 

I didn’t really like having that feeling of fear - that was definitely my least favorite thing about the city.  However all that being said, I’ll still have to return to visit some day to see all the things I missed.  I’m a firm believer in not letting fear keep you from doing things.  Maybe sometimes I’ll just have to modify my plans to be a little bit safer, and remember to be extra cautious there.

anna's last day!

 

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chris columbuss statue in barcelo…
chris columbus's statue in barcel…
at the market.  in case you have a…
at the market. in case you have …
one of the many gaudi buildings
one of the many gaudi buildings
the site of the 92 olympics...
the site of the '92 olympics...
gaudis parc guell
gaudi's parc guell
at the pier!
at the pier!
on site of the 92 olympic games...
on site of the '92 olympic games...
annas last day!
anna's last day!
*sigh* the food...
*sigh* the food...
hostel #5
hostel #5
one of the coolest markets ever!
one of the coolest markets ever!
stalls out on las ramblas.
stalls out on las ramblas.
yes those would be live chickens...
yes those would be live chickens...
and live turtles!
and live turtles!
la sagrada familia - the new side
la sagrada familia - the 'new' side
inside la sagrada familia...
inside la sagrada familia...
displays explaining gaudis desire…
displays explaining gaudi's desir…
the finished product
the finished product
pieces to eventually go inside the…
pieces to eventually go inside th…
the artist himself...
the artist himself...
the old side
the 'old' side
had to make a stop for some tapas!
had to make a stop for some tapas!
one of the best sculptures ever!  …
one of the best sculptures ever! …
beaches of barcelona...
beaches of barcelona...
inside barcelonas cathedral...
inside barcelona's cathedral...
those are real!
those are real!
the olympic swimming pool...
the olympic swimming pool...
more of the olympic grounds...
more of the olympic grounds...
the olympic torch!
the olympic torch!
the entrance to parc guell...
the entrance to parc guell...
gaudis home in parc guell
gaudi's home in parc guell
the view from the top of the hill …
the view from the top of the hill…
Barcelona Hostels review
Mambo Tango Backpackers Hostel
great hostel. the owners are a couple who built it with their own two hands and actually live there as well so they take a lot of pride in it. this … read entire review
Barcelona
photo by: fivepointpalm